Guidelines for establishing SOCIETY OF FRIENDS (QUAKER) MEETING CORPORATE name HEADINGS (5/5/99)

History

The Religious Society of Friends, more commonly referred to as the Society of Friends or Quakers, was founded in the middle of the seventeenth century in England by George Fox and others. American Quaker activity has been documented in Massachusetts and Virginia as early as 1656. By the time William Penn’s colony, Pennsylvania (whose “lower counties” became Delaware) was founded in 1681, Quakerism was well established in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Long Island, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia.

The Society of Friends has been subject to a number of schisms over its almost 350-year history. In 1827, there was a major doctrinal split among Quakers over the views of Elias Hicks; those who agreed with him separated into the Hicksite branch of Quakerism, while the rest were known as the Orthodox branch. Further fragmentation occurred later in the 19th century, particularly in New England and the Midwest. Many of the branches of Quakerism have reunited.

General instructions

  1. SCHISM: When a meeting undergoes a division, if both of the new bodies claim the same name at the time of the separation, then they should be viewed as two new bodies, equal in stature, If, however, one of the bodies assumes a new name at the time of the separation, then it must be viewed as an offshoot of the original body. This principle is clearly illuminated by difference between the name headings of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends. At the time of the schism of 1827/28, the Orthodox and Hicksite branches of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting continued to use the same name, “Philadelphia Yearly Meeting” to describe themselves, as each believed that their own faction represented the “real” Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Two new authority records were prepared to describe the Hicksite branch and the Orthodox branch. On the other hand, the Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends, an offshoot of the Hicksite branch of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, took a new name at the time of its establishment, and clearly viewed itself as a new body; in this case, the authority record for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) was unaffected (except for the addition of a 510 or “see also” reference), and a new heading was created for the Progressive Friends (See: Appendix examples 1 & 2).
  2. REUNIFICATION: After the reunification of meetings that were previously separated, bodies in existence at the time of the reunification that retained the same name as the pre-separation bodies should be catalogued as a continuation of the pre-separation meeting. In other words, when a corporate body reunites, pre- and post-separation records should be catalogued under the same name. This principle follows the same pattern as the authority for “ Germany” (n 80125931) where headings until the end of World War II and after 1990 are found under “ Germany.” In the case of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, it is clear the re-united body after 1955 considers itself a continuation of the earlier body, and its records from before 1827 and after 1955 should be catalogued under “Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends” (See: Appendix, example 1). An exception to this rule must be made in the case of some individual Quaker Meetings where it is clear that the original Meeting had ceased to exist. For example, the Orthodox branch of the original Radnor Monthly Meeting was discontinued in 1865,as was Radnor Monthly Meeting (Hicksite) in 1951. A new Meeting, “Radnor United Monthly Meeting,” was formed from Haverford (Orthodox) and Valley (Hicksite) Monthly Meetings in 1937; the name of this body was changed to “Radnor Monthly Meeting” in 1955, but it is clear that the new Radnor was not a continuation of the original. The various manifestations of Radnor should be qualified with dates, and the records of post-1955 Radnor should not be catalogued under the same name as the earlier body (See: Appendix, example 3).
  3. QUALIFIERS:
  4. USE OF “SOCIETY OF FRIENDS” “Society of Friends” MUST be used as a qualifier, when the name of the meeting does not include the term “Friends” or “Society of Friends,” as in “Catawissa Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)” (See: Appendix example 7). However, 410’s for “Society of Friends. [meeting name]” may not be used because “Society of Friends” is no longer a name heading. This is true even when there was a previously established heading for the Meeting beginning “Society of Friends;” the general reference is assumed to suffice for all particular cases.

Yearly Meetings

The highest level of authority in the Society of Friends is the yearly meeting. The yearly meeting is a corporate body composed of a large constellation of monthly and quarterly meetings, autonomous with respect to other yearly meetings. The yearly meeting meets for several days once a year. It conducts business, formulates discipline, receives reports and concerns from its constituent meetings, reviews the state of the Society, and communicates with other yearly meetings and non-Quaker organizations. In theory, its decisions are binding on the monthly and quarterly meetings within its constituency and on the committees and staff which carry out the work of the yearly meeting. There exist a number of alliances of yearly meetings (i.e. Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting), but the alliances are in no way sovereign over the yearly meetings.

Until the late 19th century, separate women’s meetings for business alongside the men’s meetings were held by preparative, monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings. Women appointed representatives, communicated with other women’s meetings, granted or received certificates of removal, approved marriages for women members. The men’s meeting rarely overruled the women’s meetings on removals, marriages or questions regarding matters of discipline. Women usually had to work with much smaller funds than men’s meetings. Gradually, men and women began to meet jointly to conduct business. The representative meeting or committee of the yearly meeting is appointed by and given administrative and executive authority to act for the yearly meeting between its annual sessions. Its predecessors were the meeting for sufferings and general committee.

Other committees which are common to most Quaker meetings at all levels are some combination of ministers & elders/overseers, sometimes in two bodies, sometimes as a single committee in ministry and counsel, combining the functions of the responsibility for the spiritual welfare of the meeting and with the responsibility for pastoral care. The predecessor of ministry and counsel was the preparative meeting of ministers and elders.

Cataloguing Instructions

  1. Enter each yearly meeting directly under its own name.
  2. Qualify each yearly meeting when the name has been used by more than one group.
  3. The yearly meetings of women friends, meetings for sufferings, representative meetings, ministry and counsel, preparative meetings of ministers and elders (where they were subordinate to the yearly meeting and not to either the quarterly or monthly meetings), and all other committees of the yearly meeting should be entered subordinately to the yearly meeting.
  4. Joint committees of different yearly meetings should be established under the name of the joint committee itself, with 410 references to the sponsoring bodies (AACR2: 24.15A).

Quarterly and Half-Yearly Meetings

Quarterly meetings for business are held four times per year and are attended by representatives of all monthly meetings in a county or region. The quarterly meeting acts as an intermediary between the monthly and yearly meeting, serves as an appeals body for disciplinary matters, and considers problems too large for a local meeting to solve. A quarterly meeting holds the authority to establish or discontinue a monthly, preparative, or particular meeting for worship. It collects financial assessments from each monthly meeting in accordance with the quota established by the yearly meeting. Today, the business considered by the quarterly meeting has diminished, and the meetings mostly involve inspiration and fellowship. The half-yearly meeting is a meeting held twice a year, composed of monthly meetings within a convenient geographical area, and with the responsibilities of a quarterly meeting. These meetings are hierarchically below the yearly meeting.

Cataloguing instructions

Enter quarterly or half-yearly meetings subordinately to the yearly meeting to which it is related (See: AACR2: Glossary definition, “Related body,” p. 621).

Monthly and Preparative Meetings

The monthly meeting is the basic unit of Quaker administration. It holds regular monthly business meetings. In the past, only Quakers could participate in this business meeting. It has responsibility for care of members, authorizes removals and marriages, maintains discipline, considers the queries, manages meeting property, fosters social concerns, and reports regularly to the quarterly meeting. Business meetings in theory are held in a spirit of worship, and so are in effect meetings for worship for conducting business. A preparative meeting is a regularly-organized business meeting of a single congregation which prepared business to be presented to the monthly meeting. The scope of business as recorded in its minutes was normally limited to responses to queries and matters of property and school oversight. In the 20th century, most Preparative Meetings have become monthly meetings or have been discontinued. A particular meeting is a formally established meeting for worship under the care of a monthly meeting. An indulged meeting is a newly formed meeting for worship which requests and is granted the care and oversight of a local monthly meeting.

Cataloguing instructions

  1. Enter each monthly or preparative meeting directly under its own name. Particular and indulged meetings should be entered subordinately to the monthly meeting of which it was a subordinate part. A very few indulged meetings were subordinate to the the quarterly meeting and so the cataloger should take special care to establish the relationship of these meetings with the parent body.
  2. Preparative meetings of ministers and elders on the local level should be entered subordinately to the monthly meeting of which it was a part, and not to the preparative meeting for business.

APPENDIX: Examples in MARC format

Example 1

110 20 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

410 20 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Society of Friends)

410 20 Representatives of the Religious Society of Friends in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware

410 20 Yearly Meeting for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Eastern Parts of Maryland (Society of Friends)

410 20 General Yearly Meeting for Friends of Pennsylvania, East Jersey, and of the Adjacent Provinces

410 20 Yearly Meeting held at Philadelphia for Pennsylvania and New Jersey (Society of Friends)

410 20 Yearly Meeting held in Philadelphia for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Western Parts of Maryland and Virginia (Society of Friends)

410 20 Yearly Meeting of Friends for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Eastern Parts of Maryland, held in Philadelphia

410 20 Yearly Meeting for Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, held at Philadelphia (Society of Friends)

510 20 Burlington Yearly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1681-1685)

510 20 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite : 1827-1955)

510 20 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (Orthodox : 1827-1955)

667       Old catalog heading: Society of Friends. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

670      NUCMC data from Rutgers Univ. Lib. for Society of Friends. New Jersey records,1755-1835|b(Philadelphia Yearly Meeting)

670      LC manual auth. cd.|b(hdg.: Friends, Society of. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting; official name [1902]: Yearly Meeting of Friends for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Eastern Parts of Maryland; variant: Representatives of the Religious Society of Friends in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware)

670      Encycl. Amer. religion, c1978|b(1st General Meeting of Friends held in 1681 in Burlington, N.J.; for several yrs., one held each year at both Burlington & Philadelphia; in 1685 two meetings assumed name: General Yearly Meeting for Friends of Pennsylvania, East Jersey, and of the Adjacent Provinces; later became the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting)

670      Friends in the Delaware Valley, 1981|b(General Meeting of Friends held in Burlington; body ultimately became Philadelphia Yearly Meeting; sessions held both in Burlington and Philadelphia until 1686 when combined; thereafter in even yrs., meeting held in Burlington; in odd yrs., in Philadelphia; last session of Burlington Yearly Meeting held in 1760; in 1827 supporters of Elias Hicks withdrew, also calling themselves the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting [Hicksite]; the two yearly meetings united in 1955 becoming once again the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

670      Its Proceedings, 1955-|b(Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends)

670      PSC-Hi files|b(Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends; heading used for pre-separation and post-unification records; estab. 1681; first convened at Burlington, N.J.; first general mtg. held in Philadelphia in 1683; the two meetings combined into one yearly meeting with alternate sessions at Philadelphia and Burlington; since 1760 all yearly meetings held at Philadelphia; after the separation in 1827, there were two official Philadelphia yearly meetings; Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) met at Race Street after 1857; Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Orthodox) retained the Mtg. house at Arch Street; from 1946 to 1954 members of both yearly meetings met as Philadelphia General Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in order to move closer to reunion; in 1955 the two meetings became one body)

670      Its Minutes, 1681-1827|b(Yearly Meeting, held at Philadelphia for Pennsylvania and New Jersey; Yearly Meeting held in Philadelphia for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Western Parts of Maryland and Virginia; Yearly Meeting of Friends for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and the Eastern Parts of Maryland, held in Philadelphia; Yearly Meeting for Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, held at Philadelphia)

Example 2

110 20 Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends (1853-1940)

510 20 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite : 1827-1955)

670      Its Proceedings, 1853-1940|b( Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends)

670      Hill, T.C. Monthly Meetings in North America, 1992|b(Pennsylvania Yearly Meeting of Progressive Friends; estab. 1853 as a separation from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (Hicksite); dissolved in 1940; most of its members had been accepted back into their Hicksite meetings)

Example 3

110 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1955- )

510 20 Radnor United Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1937-1955)

670      Its Minutes, 1955-|b(Radnor Monthly Meeting)

670      Phila. Yearly Mtg. of the Rel. Soc. of Friends. Records Committee.

Guide to the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1989:|bp. 176 ( Radnor Monthly Meeting; estab. 1937; known as “Radnor United Monthly Meeting”; name changed to Radnor Monthly Meeting in 1955)

Example 4

110 20 Radnor United Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1937-1955)

510 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1955- )

510 20 Haverford Monthly Meeting of Friends (1904- )

510 20 Valley Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

670      Its Minutes, 1937-1955|b(Radnor United Monthly Meeting)

670      Phila. Yearly Mtg. of the Rel. Soc. of Friends. Records Committee. Guide to the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1989:|bp. 176 ( Radnor United Monthly Meeting; in 1936, the formation of a united mo. mtg. at Radnor out of Haverford Mo. Mtg. of Friends and Valley Mo. Mtg. was approved by the two Phila. Q. Mtgs.; mtg. estab. 1937; known as “Radnor United Monthly Meeting”; name changed to “Radnor Monthly Meeting” in 1955)

Example 5

110 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1796-1827)

410 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting of Friends (1796-1827)

510 20 Haverford Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1684-1796)

510 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting of Friends (Orthodox : 1827-1865)

510 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Hicksite : 1827-1951)

670      Its Minutes, 1684-1825|b(Radnor Monthly Meeting; Radnor Monthly Meeting of Friends)

670      PSC-Hi files|b(Radnor Monthly Meeting; estab. 1684 by Philadelphia Q. Mtg. for the mtgs. at Haverford, Merion, and Radnor; known originally as Haverford; became known as Radnor Monthly Meeting after 10 mo. 1796 when the mo. mtg. was fixed at Radnor mtg. house; two mtgs. formed after the Hicksite Separation of 1827; Radnor Monthly Meeting ( Orthodox), discontinued in 1865; Radnor Monthly Meeting (Hicksite), discontinued in 1951)

Example 6

110 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Hicksite : 1827-1951)

410 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : Hicksite : 1827-1951)

410 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite : 1827-1951)

510 20 Valley Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

510 20 Radnor Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1796-1827)

670      Its Minutes, 1827-1951|b(Radnor Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends; Radnor Monthly Meeting of Friends) 670   Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Records Committee. Guide to the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1989:|bp. 174 (Radnor Monthly Meeting (H); discontinued in 1951)

670      PSC-Hi files|b(Radnor Monthly Meeting (H); formed out of the original Radnor Monthly Meeting (1796-1827) at the time of the Hicksite Separation in 1827; some members left to join Valley Monthly Meeting; discontinued in 1951)

Example 7

110 20 New Garden Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : Chester County, Pa.)

410 20 Newgarden Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : Chester County, Pa.)

510 20 Newark Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1686-1760)

510 20 New Garden Monthly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite : Chester County, Pa.)

510 20 New Garden Monthly Meeting of Friends (Orthodox : Chester County, Pa.)

510 20 London Grove Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

670      Philadelphia Yearly Mtg. of the Rel. Soc. of Friends. Records Committee. Guide to the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1989: |bp. 141 (New Garden Monthly Meeting ( Toughkenamon, Pa.); estab. 1718 by Chester [ Concord] Q. Mtg. out of Newark [Kennett] Mo. Mtg.)

670      PSC-Hi files|b(New Garden Monthly Meeting ( Chester County, Pa.); heading used for pre-Separation and post-Unification records; name spelled “Newgarden” in early minutes; some members left in 1792 to form London Grove Mo. Mtg.; mtg. split into Hicksite and Orthodox branches in 1827 at the time of the Hicksite Separation; New Garden Mo. Mtg. (Orthodox) merged with West Grove Mo. Mtg. (Hicksite) in 1955; New Garden Mo. Mtg. (Hicksite), which reunited with Phila. Yearly Mtg. (Orthodox) in 1955, was the forerunner of the current New Garden Mo. Mtg.)

Example 8

110 20 Concord Monthly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite : 1827-1937)

410 20 Concord Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : Hicksite : 1827-1937)

510 20 Concord Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

670      Concord Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends). Minutes, 1684-|b(Concord Monthly Meeting of Friends)

670      PSC-Hi files|b(Concord Monthly Meeting of Friends (Hicksite); most often referred to in its fuller form; mtg. formed in 1827 at the time of the Hicksite Separation, out of the original Concord Mo. Mtg.; merged with Concord Mo. Mtg. (Orthodox) in 1937 to form a united mtg.)

Example 9

110 20 Salem Monthly Meeting of Friends (1827-1977 : Woodstown, N.J.)

410 20 Salem Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1827-1977 : Woodstown, N.J.)

510 20 Salem Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends : 1676-1827)

670      Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Rel. Soc. of Friends. Records

Committee. Guide to the records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1989: |bp. 193 (Salem Monthly Meeting)

670      PSC-Hi files|b(Salem Monthly Meeting of Friends (1827-1977); heading used for Orthodox and post-unification records of Salem Mo. Mtg. at Woodstown (N.J.); mtg. formed in 1827, after the Hicksite Separation, out of the original Salem Mo. Mtg.; reunited with Phila. Yearly Mtg.(Hicksite) in 1955; discontinued in 1977)

Example 10

110 20 Catawissa Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

410 20 Friends, Society of.|bCatawissa Monthly Meeting

510 20 Muncy Monthly Meeting (Society of Friends)

670      Its Records, 1796-1808|b(Catawissa Monthly Meeting)

670      LC in OCLC, 8/27/93|b(hdg.: Friends, Society of. Catawissa Monthly Meeting; usage: Catawissa Monthly Meeting)

670      PSC-Hi files|b(Catawissa Monthly Meeting; estab. 1795; first business sessions held in 1796; discontinued in 1808 when many members removed to Canada and Ohio; remaining members attached to Muncy Mo. Mtg.)

Before the mid 1990's, the Library of Congress did not require qualification of local churches by place; existing headings do not need to be qualified by place unless a conflict arises; in the case of a conflict, a geographic qualifier needs to be added to the existing heading.